All of the endings to Mortal Kombat 4 are varying levels of terrible by virtue of their dated graphics and dodgy voice acting, but this one stands out as the best of the bunch. And obviously by “best” I mean the worst.
Game: Mortal Kombat 4
Context: After the final battle, Sonya Blade ends her temporary alliance with Jarek, a wanted criminal, and attempts to bring him to justice.
This scene is Jax’s ending to the game, which actually combines and expands upon the endings to both Sonya Blade and Jarek. You know, because there’s just so much engaging continuity to deal with, here.
My favorite part, personally, is that Sonya and Jarek are yelling at each other while their idle animations play, dancing to the infectious beat of an otherworldly dance party that only their highly-focused martial artist ears are able to detect. That’s pretty silly, even for the world of Mortal Kombat. Unless they’re all fighting off parkinson’s disease, in which case this game just got way more dramatic. I’ve never been a huge MK fan, is that what all these tournaments have been for? To win the only existing cure for parkinson’s?
MK4 is not only the first game to give the characters of this violent franchise full, dialogue-heavy cutscenes, it’s also Jarek’s first appearance in the series… which makes his terrible voice acting even more bizarre. If they weren’t trying to shoehorn some vocal personality into an existing character like Sonya and Jax, that means that this is exactly what they wanted Jarek to sound like from the start.
All three characters just yell their lines to each other like dancing, stone-faced megaphones, with the exception of Jarek’s oddly quiet and self-satisfied “mmm hmm hmm hmm” after crushing Sonya’s gigantic bananaphone. Kind of strange to hear that coming out of the same guy who usually sounds like he’s straight out of central casting for “gorilla henchman #4.”
Also, man, it turns out Jax is pretty damn stealthy for a towering black dude with TWO heavy, robotic arms. I guess he was hiding? Or he would have been, if there was anything existing on that plateau?
So yeah, despite any laughs gotten out of the failed execution, this whole thing is pretty terrible. The above scene is a friggin’ cinematic masterpiece, however, when compared to the dumbed-down N64 version:
It must have been hard to convey the same sense of tension and confrontation when the surrounding scenery was changed from a grim, mountainous landscape at twilight to bright green grass and fluffy blue clouds. Where did they get that level, did they swipe it from a cancelled Bugs Bunny game?
Also, nice try, subtitles, but “ARRRRRGGGHHH” is not how you spell “I’MSOGAYYYYYYYY”
Which is the only possible thing he could be saying, there.
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